In Memory of Ann Stokes, Goddard Renaissance Woman

annstokesplaqueAnn Stokes, a Goddard graduate and supporter for many years, died Nov. 20 at the end of a long and adventurous life. Her contribution to the college was so extensive that the tennis court was dedicated to her in 1994, “In recognition of the great assistance and support given Goddard College by this exemplary alumna, trustee, friend, poet, and sportswoman.”

Many at the college also benefited from her Welcome Hill Studios — a retreat center Ann made available to women to have a room of their own for creativity and reflection. Her book, A Studio of One’s Own, recounts the experience of women building the first studio at Welcome Home in the early days of the feminist movement.

Stokes had a fabled life — she was an avid tennis player, ran for sheriff in West Chesterfield, VT in the 1970s, and in 1977, she and others from the Putney Friends Meeting were jailed for two weeks because of their protest of the Seabook Station nuclear power plant in New Hampshire.  Read more about Ann in her obituary here.

You can hear Ann in this 1988 video talking about poetry and how learning (poetry and beyond) at Goddard was an embodied experience for her.

 

Posted in Embodiment Studies & Body Image, Environmental, Sustainability & Place Studies, Feminism, Women's & Gender Studies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Teaching Transformation: The Goddard Graduate Institute Book!

coverWe have a lot of stories to tell about how and why we teach and learn at and beyond Goddard. Because we realized how precious, amazing, and revolutionary such stories are, we decided to put together a book, drawing on faculty, students, and alumni of the GGI programs and concentrations. The result, Teaching Transformation: Progressive Education in Action, edited by Lise Weil and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, has just been published, and you can access a free download of the book or buy an in-print copy here. To give you more of a sense of the scope of the book, here’s also the preface, and if you go to the book page on this site, you can see a list of all the essays and descriptions of our marvelous contributions.

Time to Tell Our Story: Preface of Teaching Transformation

“It’s time for you to tell your story of how you teach here. What you do is very rare,” Elizabeth K. Minnich, author of the widely-acclaimed and deeply-influential book Trans-forming Knowledge, told our faculty several years ago. She re-minded us how Goddard College’s pedagogy in theory and action could be a catalyst for positive change in the world of academia. She reminded us that we both teach tranformation (guiding students to discover and use their best tools and vis-ions to transform their lives and communities), and we transform teaching through a student-centered pedagogy that challenges traditional academia.

Goddard College has a long history as one of the foremost innovators in experimental education. Founded over 150 years ago as a seminary, in 1938 Goddard took form, under the leadership of Royce “Tim” Pitkin, as a “College of Living” dedicated to “…breaking down of the barriers that separate school from real life” (goddard.edu). Based on the premise that meaningful and enduring education takes into account that life is always in flux, “people learn what they inwardly accept,” and “education is a moral concern,” the college took off, growing into an oasis of creativity, innovative thinking, and scholarship and activism for a changing world (goddard.edu).

The Goddard Graduate Institute (GGI) reflects this history as well as the current mission of the college—“To advance cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration, and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative and

responsible action in the world.” GGI houses three MA programs—Individualized Studies, Health Arts and Sciences, and Social Innovation and Sustainability—and within those programs, GGI offers concentrations in Consciousness Stud-ies and Transformative Language Arts. The GGI vision builds on Goddard history, and embraces education to foster greater justice, peace, ecological and social sustainability:

Bringing together faculty from across the humanities, social sciences, and health arts disciplines, the Goddard Graduate Institute seeks to integrate scholarship and personal development with social, ecological, artistic and cultural action to support students who want to effect positive change in the world. The pursuit of knowledge involves both a deep and rigorous intellectual endeavor and well-grounded and effective transformative practice. The Goddard Graduate Institute supports students whose individualized studies reach across and beyond established liberal arts and sciences disciplines to inter- and transdisciplinary studies. (goddard.edu)

Teaching Transformation both furthers this vision and responds to Minnich’s call for us to tell the stories, in all their complexities and challenges. As Karen Campbell writes in “The Virtual and Place-Based Culture of the Goddard Graduate Institute”:

Inviting into this culture individuals who have taken upon themselves problems to solve, or at least address, and calling them to weave their individual experience, knowledge, questions, skepticism (and fear) together is perhaps only a small step toward addressing the deeply disturbing phenomena of our time. It apparently “works”; our graduates are doing conscious work in the world that is helping to transform the injustices that drove many of them here.

In this collection, we share stories, insights, visions, and questions that unearth meanings and callings. As Sarah Van Hoy writes in her essay, “Undiagnosed Visionaries,” such education takes courage and perseverance:

We don’t offer a packaged curriculum where someone else has decided what constitutes knowledge, has organized that knowledge, has weeded out what they deem unimportant, and has emphasized what makes most sense to them. Our students don’t sit in classes and receive ideas. They don’t reproduce what already exists. Instead, Goddard students participate in shaping knowledge; they enter the collective conversation and move it in new directions. They are not satisfied with given meanings and comfortable practices. They are co-creating something that doesn’t always fit those givens. They are deciding what is important to them. Like the thawing of springtime, Goddard students take what has been frozen in place and they melt it and rework it, and in so doing they rebirth the world in their vision – their vision of justice, their vision of love, their vision of wellbeing and wholeness.

~ Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

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The Poison is the Medicine with Britta Love

dscn1694Britta Love, a graduate of the Individualized MA who specialized in Consciousness Studies and Embodiment Studies, was recently interviewed on Goddard College’s radio station, WGDR, on the Magical Mystery Tour radio show. Listen to her fascinating interview about consciousness, sacred sexuality, psychedelics, spirituality and transformation here.

You can also see more about Britta’s studies in “Sex and Drugs as Healing and Transformation,” and “Coming to Goddard to Change Yourself and the World.”

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Health Arts and Sciences at the Visionary Edge with Sarah Van Hoy

Looking at the medical establishment and what health conditions so many struggle with, it’s clear we need new visions for health and healing. Here’s Sarah Van Hoy, GGI faculty, talking about what our students are focusing on in terms of engaging the edges of what we know and don’t know so that we can find new approaches. This short video, part of a new series filmed by Alexander Love, is based on interviews with GGI students and faculty.

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The Agony and Ecstasy of Changing the World with Karen Campbell

So much is falling apart in so many ways in our world, from climate change accelerating, to the situation in Syria, to so many communities and rights threatened in the United States. Karen Campbell, GGI faculty member, talks about both the agony and ecstasy of working for real and enduring change in this short video, part of a new series filmed by Alexander Love, based on interviews with GGI students and faculty.

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Creating New Conversations in Health with Sarah Van Hoy

What new ways of envisioning health and illness do we need in our culture, and how can we generate those conversations in sufficient depth and vision? Here’s Sarah Van Hoy, GGI faculty, talking about what these new conversations are and how we co-create them at Goddard in this short video, part of a new series filmed by Alexander Love, based on interviews with GGI students and faculty.

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Minna Dubin and #MomLists: Guerrilla Public Art to Explore the Reality of Motherhood

11146337_10153255300050879_1212544285265208836_oMinna Dubin, a graduate of the Individualized MA in Tranformative Language Arts, found herself feeling “in survival mode” a few years after giving birth to her first child. As a writer, performer, educator, and activist, she soon came up with the idea of #MomLists: 4 x6 cards on brightly decorated paper she embellishes with art. She explains that “Readers must lift the pretty exterior to access the gritty, vulnerable list underneath.”

The lists cover topics such as “Shit That Makes Me Cry When I’m Pregnant,” “A Parenting Street Scene,” and even “Really Gross Stuff I do Now That I’m a Mom.” Minna, who lives in the Bay Area, leaves the list in laundromats, groceries, community centers, and any other space that has bulletin boards where a person can post announcements. She says, “I believe in making art 15390743_1418608431505643_3354462386749883712_nand writing accessible. I love the idea of plastering a city with #Momlists, like the literary mom version of graffiti writing.” See more in this article in Mutha Magazine. She also had a list published in Panoply, and her work has been featured in The Forward, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Story Club Magazine, GAMBA Magazine, and *82 Review. She was a 2016 Artist in Residence at Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station.

Currently pregnant with her second child, Minna is now working on a book project involving the lists, which you can follow via #MomLists on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or Twitter.

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